Photo: Guapinol River defenders detained at police station in Olancho.
On March 18, Criterio reported: “22 days after they were released – after 914 days of arbitrary detention – Guapinol’s defenders have still not received their letters of freedom from the Trujillo Court.”
The article further explains: “This is a situation that recently caused harm to the defenders, who were arrested by agents of the National Police when they were going to the National Registry of Persons to process their new national identification documents, the lawyer of the Justice for the Peoples law firm, Kenia Oliva, told Criterio.hn.”
“Oliva said they have been requesting the issuance of the eight letters of freedom to the Trujillo Court since February 28. To date, the Tribunal has not fulfilled its responsibility.”
The article also notes: “Peace Brigades International expressed its concern at the detention of the defenders of the Guapinol River in a police post for not having yet received their letters of freedom. ‘The defense of human rights must be able to be carried out in conditions of freedom and security,’ the organization published.”
This PBI-Honduras tweet says: “We express our concern about the retention of the defenders of the river @guapinolre in a police station in Olancho. The defenders have not received their freedom cards. The defense of human rights must be able to be carried out in conditions of freedom and security.”
It has also tweeted: “Three weeks ago, the defenders of @guapinolre were released. However, it continues: No freedom cards. No progress in reparation for damages and investigation of arbitrary detention. Without respecting the declaration of a municipality free of mining in an open council.”
Los Pinares mine continues
Last month, EFE reported: “Los Pinares has installed a processing plant for iron oxide pellets in the municipality of Tocoa, department of Colón and has requested an ‘expansion of the area of the concession from 100 hectares to 1,000 hectares.”
Now @Guapinolre has tweeted: “State declared the country free of mining but made an exception for Los Pinares/Ecotek – even though there is environmental contamination – so that it can continue destroying Carlos Escaleras National Park, showing how it succumbs to mining business pressure and economic influences.”
PBI-Honduras has accompanied the defenders of the Guapinol and San Pedro rivers for the past three years.